Had I written “The Pinocchio Brief” a few months later, no doubt Raymond, who narrates the opening chapter (and others), would have utilised the phrase “alternative facts” when seeking out synonyms for lying, in addition to the ones he uses; namely “dishonesty, deceit, fraud, untruthfulness, corruption, treachery, duplicity, cheating and trickery.“ “Alternative facts” was, of course, the wording preferred by U.S. Counsellor to President Trump, Kellyanne Conway, during an interview on 22 January 2017. Counsellor Conway was defending White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s false statement about the attendance at Donald Trump’s inauguration. When she was challenged to explain why Spicer “utter[ed] a provable falsehood”, she replied that Spicer was simply providing “alternative facts.” The Guardians’ report on this debacle maintains that this “newspeak” prompted huge sales of George Orwell’s dystopian novel, 1984. Let’s hope Raymond’s use of more traditional and honest substitutes for the term “lying”, will help TPB’s sales surge too when it hits the shelves in July.
Lying is good for book sales